Peruvian President Defies Opposition Calls to Resign

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

La Paz, December 16 (RHC)-- Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has rejected demands he resign, brushing aside an opposition ultimatum to step down or face impeachment over allegations he received bribes from Brazilian contractor Odebrecht.  "I am not going to abdicate my honor, my values or my responsibilities as president," Kuczynski said in a televised speech to the nation, backed by his ministers.  "I won't run, I won't hide nor do I have any reason to do so," he said, promising to cooperate with investigations by Congress and the country's attorney general's office. 

The right-wing Popular Force party, which controls the Congress, had warned it would begin impeachment proceedings against him if he did not resign. 

Odebrecht, a Brazilian engineering and construction giant at the center of multiple corruption cases throughout Latin America, revealed it had paid Kuczynski five million dollars in consulting fees between 2004 and 2013.  For part of that period, Kuczynski was economy minister and head of cabinet for then-president Alejandro Toledo, whom Odebrecht said it paid $20 million in kickbacks to win a contract managing a freeway. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino


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